Friday night, we had a little pre-Christmas (mis)adventure.
While plugging in the very tree pictured here, we suddenly smelled something that seemed awfully like something electrical burning. (Even by the low-low standards of smart phone photography, this picture is pretty lame. And although it does almost mask the gaping bare spot in the lower right, it does not do the tree justice at all, at all. It does look pretty good on my Blackberry.)
Anyway, having Smokey-the-Beared the electrical burning, we then realized that the blower part of our HVAC system was no longer blowing HVAC. Indeed, that the circuit breaker for our HVAC system had done what circuit breakers do (I think), and flipped the 100 amp HVAC fuses off.
My husband, who this time of year goes by the handle Scrooge McGrinch, immediately blamed the tree – which draws as much power as an alarm clock in unalarmed mode – fingering it (almost literally) as the party responsible for the blowout of our blower.
Anyway, while Jim called the emergency HVAC number, I called 9-1-1 and asked the dispatcher if she thought it made sense to have the BFD swing by. The answer to that question is pretty much always ‘yes,’ so within a couple of minutes, our condo was full of burly and nice looking young men bearing halligans and axes, sniffing out the source of the burning electrical odor – which, they agreed with Scrooge McGrinch, was behind the panel where our blower lies. They then were up on the rooftop, quick quick quick - five flights via the narrow back staircase - and turned off our HVAC. Fortunately, it wasn’t all the cold out that night, so we really weren’t going to need the H. But as the world had NOT ended on Friday – I sure called that one - it was pretty clear we were eventually going to need us some H.
After the boys got through agreeing with Scrooge McGrinch about the source of the electrical burning odor, they agreed with me that the Christmas tree had nothing whatsoever to do with the blown blower. And while they didn’t come right out and say it, I know that they were thinking Scrooge McGrinch was suffering from a tiny bit of post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy.
We had to wait a while for the emergency, on call HVAC fellow to show, as he was coming from – of all places – Worcester.
Dylan was a new guy we hadn’t seen before, and he was every bit as burly and nice looking as the firefighters who came and went before him.
He found the fault line. Some fairly shoddy legacy wiring that had been taped up with electrical tape and had somehow managed to last over 20 years before having its meltdown.
The fix could not be made right away, so I in my kerchief and Scrooge McGrinch in his cap had to settle down for a long winter’s nap without heat. We survived, and Dylan came back first thing in the morning with the right stuff and fixed us up in about 10 minutes. So we were all set. I had already begun some baking, so we were getting some heat going, anyway. But this is New England and, despite global warming, baby it’s cold outside.
And so it is Christmas. Or, at least, Christmas Eve.
Which means I get to say Merry Christmas and/or Happy Holidays to all my Pink Slip readers. (No war on Christmas here, but just in case…)
I am taking the week off, but will return on January 1st.
See you then.